Payroll Setup Checklist

These are some common items that need to be done to get your first payroll ready to go. This list is not meant to be comprehensive, but a good place to start getting your records in order so you can run a proper payroll.

  1. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and PIN number – Click here for the IRS application page (wait for IRS PIN number to arrive in the mail to complete EFTPS setup process)
  2. Obtain State and Local withholding ID numbers if applicable (see below).
  3. Register with your state unemployment office
  4. Clarify the difference between an independent contractor and an employee – See the IRS discussion of this topic
  5. Get the employee paperwork in order: Form I-9, Form W-4, State W-4 if applicable
  6. Decide on a pay period and frequency
  7. Define your work week (usually Sunday-Saturday)
  8. Document the terms of your employee’s compensation: how to track hours, how to handle vacation and sick time, employee benefits if applicable
  9. Understand your record retention requirements for employee personnel files
  10. Know what tax forms need to be filed and when. See this IRS page with links to common employment tax forms.


To obtain an Iowa withholding ID number fill out the online business registration here.

To obtain an Iowa Unemployment ID number fill out the online registration here by clicking “Create ID” under New Users.


To obtain a Nebraska withholding ID number fill out and send Form 20 to the Department of Revenue by fax or mail.

To obtain a Nebraska Unemployment ID number there is an online application that can be filled out here.

Bookkeeping Department About Bookkeeping Department

Our bookkeeping department provides assistance with monthly bookkeeping, bank reconciliation, sales and use tax compliance, and payroll tax compliance. To see our latest bookkeeping posts click here

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